Category: besan

polenta chickpea fries (4)

What do you think the most consumed vegetable in North America is?

…Potatoes! I don’t have anything against potatoes nutritionally, but they are likely eaten way to often and usually in their deep fried form.

A varied diet is something I always promote when I do my grocery store tours — it ensures you are getting all the nutrients you need and makes your meals more exciting! So, ditch the potato fries once in a while and make polenta chickpea fries!

Baked Pakora



I LOVE Indian food!

Ever since I made socca, chickpea flour has become a staple in my house and I have been looking for more recipes to use it in.  These baked pakora were a fantastic solution – easy to make, full of veggies and delicious!

If you have eaten Indian lately you know it is not the lightest of meals (at least the westernized version of it) and it may leave you feeling a little bogged down. So if you are looking to skip all the oil but still get some delicious Indian flavor these baked pakora are what you’re looking for! I am not claiming to be replacing the deep fried ones but I can try my darndest!

When I made these I only had about 1/4 of a head of cauliflower so I just increased all the other veggies a bit and they worked out really well, so feel free to play around with the ratios a bit, especially if it means avoiding a trip to the grocery store.

I found using a baking stone will help prevent burning (heat it in the oven for ~10 minutes first while it preheats). I love my baking stone for homemade pizza, crisping up leftovers, homemade free-form bread etc — it is an essential kitchen item for me!

Make sure you watch the pakoras carefully so that they don’t burn and keep your oven fan on.

They also re-heat well in the oven (not microwave) — so hope for leftovers! If you have a baking stone, heat it in a hot oven (~10min), then place the pakora on the hot stone and reheat them in the oven for ~8-10 min at 350-375 F. This will help crisp them up again beautifully.


Baked Pakora Recipe

Baked Pakora
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ~50 pakora
  • 2 cups Chickpea flour (aka - Gram flour, Garbanzo flour, besan)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garam masala or curry powder (or~ 2 tbsp of your favorite curry paste)
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh, crushed garlic
  • -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • ½ head small cauliflower, chopped into small bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small/medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup peas (fresh/frozen)
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 small red potato, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 500F. Grease a large baking sheet very well with your favorite mild, cooking oil
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (down to the dashes in the ingredient list). Stir in enough water to create a batter, almost pancake-batter consistency, but a little thicker. It took me about 1¼ cups of water. Don't add extra water! If you're using curry paste instead of powder mix it into the batter with the water. Let batter sit.
  3. Prepare veggies and then dump them all into the batter, mixing well to coat
  4. Using a tablespoon (the kind you eat with), take scoops of battered veggies and drop onto the well oiled baking sheet
  5. Bake for 8-9 minutes, then flip and bake another 10 minutes, until golden brown. You can spray or brush them with oil before putting them back in the oven if you're looking to resemble the deep-fried version a little more closely.
  6. Serve hot with 'Raita' or an Indian tomato sauce or just enjoy them on their own! I like to mix garlicky, tomato sauce with a little greek yogurt or sour cream and some curry paste to taste.

I was so intrigued when I first heard about socca. It seemed like something I would totally love, it’s healthy, easy to make and great for bringing to parties!


This is such a versatile little flat bread, just think of your favorite flavor combo and add it in! I tried it plain first because I was curious about the base flavor but I recommend add ins to amp it up! Fresh and dried spices, cheese(s), olives, sun-dried tomatoes, shredded zucchini (drained), caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms – you name it!

One of my favorite combos is adding sauteed mushrooms, onions and sundried tomatoes to the batter and then serving the socca cut into strips with a truffle oil dip (1/2 cup plain greek yogurt mixed with 1.5-2 tsp truffle oil and a dash of salt).


For my first attempt I made it a little thicker, kind of like an unleavened pancake, but I prefer a thinner crispier (and cheesier) socca now. You can use it as a wrap, pizza crust, flat-bread, savory crepe or use it in place of naan or a pita.

1 cup of chickpea flour has 21g of protein, 10g of fiber and 25% daily value for iron (for men, women have higher needs) and as an added bonus this flatbread is gluten free for all those with sensitivities and allergies out there! socca

Socca – Chickpea Flatbread

-1 cup chickpea flour (I found it at superstore labeled Besan)
-1 cup lukewarm water
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1.5 tablespoons olive oil

Add Ins and/or topping ideas

-red pepper flakes, garlic, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika ….
-3 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped
-1 cup shredded zucchini (make sure to squeeze out all of the excess moisture)
-caramelized onions
-sauteed mushrooms
-shredded cheese
-olives/olive tapenade
-sundried tomatoes
-1.5 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
-sauteed greens
-shredded potato
-fried/scrambled eggs


1. Sift the flour and whisk together with the water, olive oil,  salt and any other preferred dried spices in a small bowl. Let rest for 1/2- 2 hours or up to 12 hours (in a pinch I have skipped the resting). Then stir in any other desired add ins.

2. Set an oven rack six inches below your oven’s broiler and turn it on. Heat a cast iron skillet or oven proof frying pan on the stove over medium-high heat.

3.  Coat the bottom of the pan with a tbsp of olive oil. Whisk the chickpea batter and then pour 1/3 – half into the hot pan. Tilt the pan to help it spread evenly if needed.

4. Cook the socca a few minutes until set and browned on the bottom. Then pop under the broiler until you see the top of the socca begin to blister and brown. The socca should be flexible in the middle but crispy on the edges (or however you like it… it depends on the use how crisp or flexible you want it- I prefer it crispier)

5. Slice it into wedges or squares, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little good olive oil. Top with any desired toppings or use for your favorite dip. Repeat with any remaining batter.

Best served immediately while still warm, but can be refrigerated and re-toasted for up to a week.

(Socca can also be baked in a 450 F oven. Pour batter into a hot, greased baking dish and then broiled to finish. You really can’t go wrong, experiment and cook it however you like it best!)


- Formerly known as Apron Strings and Healthy Things -

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